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What to Consider before Beginning a Home Remodeling Project

If you’re thinking about updating your home, you have a few things you need to consider before your break out the power tools and paint. A little planning now can go a long way to preventing a home remodeling nightmare later on. Here are 4 things you need to consider before starting your home improvement project.

1. Your Budget—Before you begin your home remodel, you need to have a clearly defined budget. More importantly, you need to make sure you stick to your budget (after all, that is the point of having a budget). See, the costs of a home remodel can start to add up pretty quickly. Once you see one thing renovated, you might be tempted to renovate something else. It can be easy to get carried away, leaving you with a drained bank account. When setting your budget, think about how long you plan on staying in your home (the longer you plan on staying, the more money you should probably spend), your other monthly expenses (car, mortgage, credit cards, etc.), and how much money you need to maintain your standard of living.

2. Return on Investment—If you’re going to put money into remodeling your home, you want to make sure you get a decent return on your investment. Each year, a report is compiled analyzing the return on investment for various home improvement projects. Deck additions, kitchen remodels, and bathroom renovations always tend to earn top returns.

This said, your ROI calculation might be a bit fuzzier…  Often home remodeling investments are evaluated in terms of ROI when considering resale price, but if you are planning on staying in the home than its resale value isn’t really of importance.  Instead, try and quantify the value you will derive from a new space, new layout, style, etc.  Its a bit of a gray area, but it would be silly to only look at resale unless you plan on moving soon.

3. The Purpose—What’s the purpose of your home improvement project? Are you simply looking to add value to your home before you sell it? Or do you just want to make a more comfortable living space? By clearly defining a purpose for your remodel, you’ll be sure to make sure everything you do is aimed at achieving that ultimate goal. Without a purpose, you could end up blindly spending money on random renovations that really don’t meet your true needs.

4. Your Home Remodeling Skills—How much of this home remodel will you be handling yourself? Before you start remodeling, you need to truly assess your handyman skills. And be honest here because an amateur mistake on your part can end up costing you more money than you’d spend on hiring an experienced contractor. Only take on those tasks that you know you can handle. For other assignments, hire a trusted home remodeling contractor in your area.

Once you consider all of these things, you should be ready to begin your home remodeling project. Good luck with your renovations!

Budget Friendly Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathroom remodeling. It just sounds expensive, doesn’t it? I mean, doesn’t a bathroom remodel mean you have to rip up the flooring, tub, sink, and toilet?
Not necessarily.

Even in these tough economic times, there are several simple renovations you can do in your bathroom that won’t leave you with an empty wallet. And with bathroom remodels fetching a high return on investment, you can make your modest budget go a long way in terms of adding value to your home.

Here are a few budget-friendly ideas for updating your bathroom…


5 Easy Ways to Green Your Home

Regardless of what you think of the political side of the green movement, a one thing is certain: going green in your home can save you a lot of money down the line, getting you maximum return on your investment. And going green doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 5 easy ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your home.

1.  Get New Light Bulbs — Probably the simplest thing you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to swap out old incandescent light bulbs with new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). While these might cost more up front, CFLs use about 66% less energy than normal light bulbs. They also last about 10 times longer. A single bulb will save you about $30 in energy costs over its lifetime. Now, imagine how much money an entire house full of these bulbs will save you…


Basement Remodeling: How to Determine the Best Use of your Basement Space

The basement is usually the last space to be remodeled in a home. And, by the time most homeowners get to this space, they may be bursting with ideas or fresh out of them. Following is a basement remodeling checklist. It will not only help you define how to use the space, but keep you within budget once your plans are defined.

What Are Your Family’s Needs: Before tackling a basement remodeling project, clearly outline your family’s wants and needs. Do you need a playroom for the kids; a workout room for the whole family; or an office for a home business start up?

Many approach the basement with a “want list” in mind. But in order to make sure you’re not just wasting money, you should take into account how you all actually live as a family. This way, you’ll get the most bang for your remodeling buck!

How Long Will You Be in the Home: This is a question every homeowner should ask before tackling a basement remodeling project. Consider this: Remodeling Magazine’s 2008-09 Cost vs. Value Report puts the average cost of a full basement remodel with wet bar and bathroom addition at $61,011…


Kitchen Remodeling Tips That Won’t Break the Bank

How many times have you heard that the kitchen is the heart of the home? Like anything close to your heart, you want to show it off to the best of its ability. But, kitchen remodeling can be extremely expensive. Following are three things you can do to update your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Reface/Paint Cabinets: One of the reasons tackling cabinets is a great idea when remodeling a kitchen is that they occupy the largest “eye space” in this room. Hence, if you change the cabinets, you can make a big impact relatively easily…